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Book Cover Smackdown! ‘The Blackness Within’ vs. ‘By Light Alone’ vs. ‘Behemoth’

Hey kids! It’s time for another Book Cover Smackdown!

Here are the contenders…

Your Mission (should you choose to accept it): Tell us which cover you like best…and why.

Books shown here:

NOTE: Bigger, better cover art images are available by clicking the images or title links.

About John DeNardo (13012 Articles)
John DeNardo is the Managing Editor at SF Signal and a columnist at Kirkus Reviews. He also likes bagels. So there.

15 Comments on Book Cover Smackdown! ‘The Blackness Within’ vs. ‘By Light Alone’ vs. ‘Behemoth’

  1. Urgh for the 1st time I hate all 3 covers…..


    The Blackness within is probably the ‘best’ of the 3, but thats not really saying much. I like the Celtic cross and skull but the rest of the cover is just aweful, the Boar and piglets (?) just don’t work and as for the type face its bloody horrible, the scroll work does look slightly better on the full size blow up but…….

    By The Light Alone – Just does nothing for me, they might as well have covered it in wallpaper.

    Behemoth – Just looks like a lame knock up for a Terry Gilliam movie, I prefer the new cover shown on the website but still it does nothing to make me want to pick up the novel and investigate the back cover.

  2. Andy W stole my answer. That’s three butt-ugly covers.


  3. I pick By Light Alone as my favorite; I’m a sucker for the style.  I think Behemoth looks fun without being too cheesey. But The Blackness Within? I’d steer clear of it based on cover alone. I like the text, but the boar looking right at me screams crappy fantasy.

  4. Maria Stahl // September 7, 2010 at 7:58 am //

    By Light Alone looks like it should be printed on a 1950s-era library edition cover. I like it.

  5. I like the first one, I love baby boars, evil red eyed baby boars even better 🙂 I would read that book just to see what those evil boar babies are up to.

  6. Going by the covers, I’d pick By Light Alone.  I really like the style.  It is clean and fairly simple.  I am disappointed in the Westerfield cover since the Leviathan cover was really cool.  I’ll have to check out the new cover a previous poster mentioned.

  7. I like the best The Blackness Within. Although I like Art Deco, I didn’t like By Light Alone. Keith Thompson is a great illustrator, it would have been much better if he had done the cover for Behemoth.

  8. Not a fan of any of those, honestly. If I had to choose – The Light Alone is the better of the three. 

  9. By Light Alone is my favorite of the three – simple, clean, and eye catching.

    The Blackness Within – not digging the boars, but also reminds me of a book I’d see on a grade school library shelf, so in that way I’d say it’s successful.

    The Behemoth cover looks cheap.  The illustration overlaid ontop of a crappy picture of clouds, as well as the poor formating, just doesn’t work.

  10. None of them really pop at me, but I’d go with By Light Alone…very retro.


    I wouldn’t give The Blackness Within the time of day if I saw it on a shelf.  Boars and gravestones?  Pass.


    The Behemoth is pretty meh.

  11. The Blackness Within – Love the demon piglet…and the rest of the motif is almost cool…but the atrocious lettering, the way the words in the title seem to mush together and overpower the rest of the work really destroys it.  Looks almost amateurish.

    By Light Alone – 1930’s art deco has never been a favorite of mine…but after reading the blurb I can see why they went that direction.

    Behemoth – My first thought was “Somebody is using goatse for a cover?”….

    None of the three really strike a cord with me though.  I would probably pass over all three in the book store.




  12. Hmmmm…I’m very unimpressed with them all.  They all seem like less than stellar efforts from art directors and artists.  I liked Westerfield’s cover for Leviathan, but this one is a disappointment.

  13. I am also very unimpressed.  None are pretty.  The Blackness Within gets my vote for best because I can tell what kind of book it is and I know not to pick it up (I am not fantasy reader).  The other two utterly fail to convey that they contain sci fi content and I should look at the back cover.

  14. I think THE BLACKNESS WITHIN covers the anthology’s subject matter of a celtic fertility god and horror. LIGHT ALONE is eye catching, with a basic design and sun imagery that works with the title. BEHEMOTH, err… well I liked the earlier cover better.

  15. All are nice/ solid covers

    Our Vote is for the blackness within, as we are fans of illustration, and this dark and heavy illustration really gets the mood across. Others are solid too, but lean a bit more to the design side, and leave a bit more to the imagination.

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